Share this entry

Share this page

alumnus

Line breaks: alum|nus
Pronunciation: /əˈlʌmnəs
 
/

Definition of alumnus in English:

noun (plural alumni /-nʌi/)

A male former pupil or student of a particular school, college, or university: a Harvard alumnus
More example sentences
  • Most of us probably do not read our undergraduate alumni magazines very carefully.
  • Being an alumnus at the helm of a small, private college has been both a blessing and a challenge.
  • A successful alumna or alumnus could turn a student's decision in the direction of physics.

Origin

mid 17th century: from Latin, 'nursling, pupil', from alere 'nourish'.

More
  • alma mater from (mid 17th century):

    This phrase, used with reference to a university or college once attended, first had the general sense ‘someone or something providing nourishment’; in Latin the literal meaning is ‘bounteous, nourishing mother’. It was a title given by the Romans to several goddesses but in particular to Ceres and Cybele, both representing fostering mother-figures. Alumnus (mid 17th century) is related, being Latin for ‘nursling, pupil’, from alere ‘nourish’, source of alma.

Usage

In the singular, alumnus nearly always means a male, but the plural alumni can be used to refer to pupils or students of either sex.

Words that rhyme with alumnus

rumness

Definition of alumnus in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day emulous
Pronunciation: ˈɛmjʊləs
adjective
seeking to emulate someone or something